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Sunday, May 10, 2009
The Domenik Hixon interview

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

 
  Jim Luzzi/Getty Images
  New York's Domenik Hixon is focused on continuing to get better as heads into his fourth year in the NFL.

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day. If you haven't purchased a card for your mother -- or the mother of your children -- it's not too late. Giants wide receiver Domenik Hixon spent the weekend with his mom in Columbus, Ohio. He heard that many of you sent him questions Friday, so he agreed to a 20-minute phone interview Saturday.

If you're someone who's interested in what players do in their downtime, you'll enjoy the first part of the interview. If you only care about football, just skip the part about motorcycles. Here's a large portion of the interview.

Beast: I understand you're a pretty huge Cavs fan.

Hixon: Yeah, when I was in college [at Akron], LeBron James' high school team played at our arena [The Jar]. We'd be having football meetings in the arena, and you'd see him come walking through. You could tell pretty early that he was on a different planet than the other kids. But I was rooting for the Cavs before he came along. Now, it's just a lot more fun because they're winning.

Beast: What do you do in the offseason to get away from football?

Hixon: I have an internship this offseason selling motorcycle parts and accessories for Pompton Plains (N.J.) Honda. My uncle and dad had a motorcycle they all rode, and it's something that I have a passion for.

Beast: Is Tom Coughlin aware of this passion?

Hixon: [Laughing] Actually the Giants helped me set up the internship. I'm not planning to ride motorcycles until I'm done with football.

Beast: So do you own one?

Hixon: Yes, a company called All Things Chrome helped me put one together. It's a Suzuki GSX-R with a 360 tire on it. Most of it's chrome and it's white and black with some silver. It's more of a show bike. I'm definitely a motorcycle enthusiast.

Beast: How much time do you spend at the dealership right now?

Hixon: After I workout, I usually head over there and hang out for a few hours. It's definitely something I'm interested in doing after football.

Beast: I know you grew up in Germany before playing high school football in the Columbus, Ohio area. What's your favorite food from back home?

Hixon: I love schnitzel. And I like it plain. Over here, I'm constantly in search of the best steak, though. Right now, my favorite is Del Friscos, but I'm open to recommendations.

Beast: What specific part of your game are you trying to improve this offseason?

Hixon: Overall, I'm trying to become stronger and faster. I'm simply trying to improve my craft. My speed is what sets me apart from some people, so I'm trying to increase that aspect of my game.

Beast: How much time are the receivers spending with Eli Manning in addition to just the normal voluntary workouts?

Hixon: We usually go out as a group after our workouts and run a series of plays. Then we'll go in the classroom at least three times per week. It's usually sort of an open session, but Eli's the one seeking feedback a lot of times. He'll let us know what he saw on pre-snap reads and sort of make sure we're on the same page.

Beast: When Plaxico Burress was suspended late in the season, did you put too much pressure on yourself to replace him?

Hixon: I wouldn't say pressure. I was kind of hard on myself with some things. That's a tough learning curve. You could definitely say that the level of expectation changed. But I just kept trying to get better.

Beast: I'm sure you heard all the rumors about you guys trading for veteran receivers such as Braylon Edwards and Anquan Boldin. How much attention did you pay to that, and does it give you some confidence that the team didn't feel compelled to bring in a veteran?

Hixon: I stay out of all that, but my friends and family do a pretty good job of informing me what's going on. When I started hearing my name come up in stories about a trade to the Browns, everyone from back home started calling. It's not like I was a big Browns fan or anything, but they all thought it would be cool for me to come home. As for me feeling better about my status on the team, I never allow myself to get comfortable. That's the best way for me to operate.

Beast: Did you stay in touch with Burress after the season?

Hixon: He was still reaching out to us even when things looked bad for him. He's actually a great guy, but unfortunately some things happened that took him out of the picture.

Beast: Do you think people expect too much from you -- based on where you are in your career?

Hixon: No, I have huge expectations for myself. But I'm trying not to skip any steps along the way. I was talking to Sam Madison one day and he talked to me about how things happen so quickly in this league. I can't believe I'm already in my fourth year. I'm going to enjoy this time, but at the same time, I don't want to leave anything on the table. I'll have a lot more confidence heading into this season.

Beast: Does it bother you at all that the Giants took a couple of wide receivers fairly early in the draft?

Hixon: Not at all. I can't wait to line up and work with them in the minicamp. If you're going to make it in this league, you better be pretty competitive. I don't look at like, 'They're not happy with me.' It just means I have to keep getting better.